Far from being ideology-driven, the Maoist movement is a levy-based movement, the rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said here on Monday. The minister was delivering the inaugural edition of the Governance Lecture series, 'Saranda and the Audacity of Hope: An experiment in Grassroots Governance’ in New Delhi
“For every ton of iron ore that you remove, a portion of levy goes to Maoists. All they want is levy. I think the Maoists are creating market economy much more than the government,” Ramesh said.
Ramesh even went on to say that if the government stops all developmental-related flow of funds to these areas, the Maoist movement will die down
“To give you a specific example, Pakur, an erstwhile peaceful place in the Santhal Pargana area of Jharkhand, has begun to attract Maoists just because mining has started there. Suddenly, the Maoists have become the champions of the tribals there,” he said.
"So-called liberated zones are the mining rich areas. The bauxite-rich areas are Maoist-affected. The iron-ore rich areas are Maoist-affected. Coal-rich areas are Maoist-affected. Why did it happen?” he asked.
Lashing out at Maoists sypathisers, he said there should not be any attempt at romanticising the Maoists. "Let us not romanticise Maoists and demonise security forces. Don't tell me the story that Maoists are not using children as shield. Two of the abductors of the Sukma collector Alex Menon were 14 year-old children," Ramesh said.